COVID-19 finally pushed print media into the periphery 

Published: May 13th, 2020
Wandisile's Plett - A blog by Wandisile Sebezo

Wandisile’s Plett

A blog by Wandisile Sebezo.

COVID-19 has pushed print media into the periphery

Over the last decade or so we’ve heard the popular phrase “print media is dying” so often. Well, finally it’s proven to be true. Thanks to COVID-19, print media has finally been pushed off the shelves.

The nationwide lockdown meant people’s movement is restricted, except for essential services, but as people begin to work remotely and even consumers prioritizing essential needs on their shopping lists, the cancellations of advertisements prior to the lockdown was a sign enough that things were not going to be the same again.

The decline in advertising spend in the magazine sector over the years, coupled with online magazines gaining popularity meant this was bound to happen anyway.

Print media has been pushed to the periphery by COVID-19
Print media has been pushed to the periphery by COVID-19

Many newspaper companies have over the years moved their papers online, where readers can enjoy their paper behind a paywall. In South Africa these include Financial Mail, Business Day, and even The Herald just here in Nelson Mandela Bay.

About a week ago Caxton & CTP Publishers & Printers announced that it has decided to close its magazine division, a move that will see about more than 10 household titles which have been in circulations for decades.

These include Bona, Country Life, Essentials, Food & Home, Garden & Home, People, Rooi Rose, Vrouekeur, Woman & Home and Your Family.

Print media is dying
Print media is dying

The implications from this move also mean many journalists and freelancers will be unemployed, joining the ranks of those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

This here is the economic impact of the nationwide lockdown. We certainly need to devise ways to open the economy, while also adhering to health regulations, otherwise South Africa remains a time bomb waiting to explode.